Some more TIFF intro and Q&A videos, for those who might be interested:
The premiere screening of Katsuhito Ishii's SMUGGLER turned out to be the most amusing experience of the whole night, even if the film was indistinguishable from a million other gonzo torture-gore films of late. The film was delayed so long that programmer Colin Geddes decided to bring the Japanese cameraman accompanying the director onstage to record a greeting to Japan from the Midnight Madness audience (the lights do eventually come on, I promise):
When the delay lasted even longer, Geddes rounded up another director from the audience, stand-up comedian Bobcat Goldtwait (at the fest to plug his movie GOD BLESS AMERICA), and asked him to do a set so the audience wouldn't demand their money back. I've never been a big Goldthwait fan, but he's had his moments over the years, and this was a pretty generous thing to do, and certainly added some value to the ticket price.
Finally, after the screening, the genial Ishii did the Q&A, which couldn't hope to match the opening acts, but he gave it his best:
Speaking of GOD BLESS AMERICA, I also recorded the intro and Q&A for the third screening of that, and typical of TIFF screenings in the AMC Yonge-Dundas 24-plex, the organizers felt no need to shine a spotlight on the guest, so while these are pretty dark, the audio's pretty good, and Bobcat naturally milks a few laughs out of the event. Just hearing him call Bill O'Reilly a cock made made my day
Getting back to Asia, the first film I saw at this year's fest was Goro Miyazaki's FROM UP ON POPPY HILL. The director had an ace translator at the intro, but that guy was replaced by another, more rambling guy who had difficulty translating long questions from the audience to the director, or from the director to the audience, which made this go on WAY longer than it needed to. Still, there are some interesting bits of info in these:
And also from Asia, China specifically, though by way of German funding since I doubt it will play in China anytime soon
, was Guo Xiaolu's UFO IN HER EYES, based on her book, the tale of a woman who's uncertain sighting of a UFO leads to all sorts of comic mayhem, rapid, gawdy municipal development (UFO landing pad, UFO hotel, etc.). Like the director's previous works, this will probably provoke some interesting discussion, not least for it's portrayal of the small-minded bureaucracy at work in China's dingy, remote villages. Again, my apologies for the darkness, but once again the TIFF people feel that spotlights aren't necessary during screenings at the Scotiabank googol-plex downtown. You can at least make the people out in this one, somewhat, and the audio is good, AND the participants really bring their passion to the table. And remember, Udo Kier loves China!
Q&A from the fanciful horror film LIVID (France), from the directors of INSIDE / A L'INTERIEUR. I rather enjoyed this one, very Argento-esque:
Also from France was SLEEPLESS NIGHT, about a hard-boiled cop (Tomer Sisley) who spends a violent night trying to extract his teenaged-son from a multi-storey nightclub crawling with the minions of a vicious druglord.
Q&A from YOU'RE NEXT. This winning first runner-up (after Gareth Evan's spectacular THE RAID) in the Midnight Madness People's Choice award convinced me that Midnight Madness audiences are far too-easily sated with paint-by-numbers gore-fests like this one. Nonetheless, it does mark Barbara Crampton's return to the big screen (as in, your big home screen, where this will be seen soon enough once it bypasses theatrical), and she was in attendance, so here's the Q&A's. The director is utterly annoying:
Still have a couple of odds 'n ends to upload . . .